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Jul 25
Vanuatu

​Fire Dancing

Flaming fire sticks were the centre of attraction at the Coconut Palms Resort for Gai and Georgina. 

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They totally enjoyed their exciting entertainment free, with their meal at the resort. These Fire dancing groups regularly perform at many of the resorts at Port Vila, and are not to be missed!

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Pango School

Pango is a village with over 2000 residents on the South Eastern Peninsular of Efate.

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These pictures show the local school and their play equipment.

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Swimming in Vanuatu

Most beaches in Vanuatu do not have lifeguards, however, Gai found this beach on Efate at Pango that does.

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There are plenty of water sports to keep you busy, on your holiday. You can swim, snorkel, dive, kayak or surf. The water temperature stays warm all year, and there are the most amazing coloured fish and coral to see.

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Some precautions to be aware of when swimming in Vanuatu:

  • Sharks are not common; however, they have been spotted around the main island of Efate
  • Sea Snakes should be avoided; Vanuatu visitor's guide states they are non-poison and cannot open their mouth wide enough to bite, however, they are not willing to test the theory
  • African Snails are very pretty, but should not be picked up as they have toxic slime
  • Reef shoes are also advised to avoid coral cuts and urchins
  • Finally, don't forget the sunscreen! According to the Vanuatu Visitors guide if you do become sunburnt, women may find moisturiser beneficial, however, they suggest men try Viagra, to keep the sheets off at night.


We have found Vanuatu one of the most beautiful and relaxing places to visit and would love to hear about your experiences.


Jul 20
Vanuatu

Ekasup Cultural Village

Gai and her beautiful granddaughter took off to Vanuatu in April 2017, to relax and enjoy a peaceful holiday, but most importantly so Gai could come back and tell you all about what experiences are best suited to what you are looking for in your next holiday. 

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Awarded Vanuatu's Best tourist attraction for two consecutive years, Ekasup Cultural Village is situated only 10 mins drive from Port Vila. Upon arrival to Ekasup Village, there is a short walk through the tropical forest, the Chief welcomes you to the village in his native costume. Georgina had a special greeting and photo time that you can have too. 

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The tour took about 2 hours to complete and during this time you gain an insight into the cultural and traditional systems of Melanesia. This covers how they use native products for medicine, and how food is caught and then preserved without modern aids such as electricity.​

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One of the particular talks were about the rules of the Village, you will soon discover what a different world we live compared to this village. Gai thinks this is definitely well worth going to experience this for yourself.​

Jun 10
Eating out in Vila

The restaurants in Vila are arguably as good if not better than Australian dining. Poulet fish, a kind of red snapper with very white flesh without many bones is a local specialty and delicious. We enjoyed this for dinner at Paradise Cove. These fish had just been caught off shore by local fishermen.

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​Coconut crabs are a species of terrestrial hermit crab. They have an acute sense of smell and feed on coconut palm leaves. Several restaurants in Vila have ban them from their menu in order to conserve them. However these were still on the menu at Café Du Village. We did not try them as from previous experience they are bland, usually covered with lots of sauce and they are expensive.​

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This was my lunch special at Café Vila, Nasama Resort. Once again Poulet fish. Some restaurants have a fantastic view as well as good food. This was dinner at sunset at the Exotic Thai restaurant over- looking Port Vila harbor.​

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Jun 14
Tanzania

Gai travelled to Tanzania with The Africa Safari Co. in May. She travelled with 5 other great agents and Brodie as the exceptional host. Each night in the Serengeti they stayed in tented camps and enjoyed sundowners at the end of each day. Stay tuned for the exciting things they saw.

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Gai on the famil. Arusha is the gateway to safaris in Tanzania. It is a small pleasant airport right next door to the Arusha Coffee Lounge where we spent our first night. Great accommodation.

Arusha is where we left our vehicle and excellent guide George. Stay tuned for what we saw in Tarangire N.P., Lake Manyara, Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. We saw all.

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Elephants eat up to 300kg of food in one day which consists of mostly grasses but they also eat leaves shrubs and branches. Their favourite tree is the acacia but they also like Marula berries off the marula trees.

Elephants skin feels rough to the human hand. The folds and wrinkles in the skin trap moisture which slowly evaporates to cool the elephant. When elephants are over heated they flap their ears so blood will flow through their ears and the air will cool their bodies. Another method of keeping cool is bathing then covering the skin with dirt which dries to a mud cake. There are over 150,000 muscles in an elephant’s trunk.

An elephants gestation period is 22 months. They usually only have a calf every 5 years. Elephants can live up to 70 years but most die around 56 years.

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While Gai was in Tanzania, she found this great little gift shop. It is called Green Steps - Flip Flop Recycling shop in Stone Town. Thongs washed up on the beach from India are used to make toy animals- elephants, crocodiles, and giraffes.

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Clever key chains made out of leather and beads. They look like the Muslim women who are the majority of people in Stone Town.

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Apr 28
Safari in Botswana

Jackie has not long returned from an adventure in Botswana. She has photo's from the Okavango Delta to share with you. These are taken from the plane as they fly into Botswana.

The Okavango Delta is an immense waterlogged oasis, alive with elephants and birdlife adrift in the middle of Kalahari sand.

During winter in the Kalahari, when the sun has baked the earth bare and turned the desert to its driest, water fills the Okavango, transforming the floodplains into a Noah's Ark of African wildlife.

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Jan 28
Food in Shanghai

There is such a vast difference in the food we eat in Australia to what is eaten in Shanghai, here are some of the dishes that Gai ate when she was there.

Let's start with the one that would turn most Australian noses up, anyone for cricket on a stick?

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These little fellers are put on sticks and cooked by the open grill and considered a delicacy. 

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This is Quail eggs cooked in ash at the markets in Zhujiajiao. A 1700-year-old water town with small rivers and old bridges. A popular destination for lunches.

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This Jia San Soup Dumplings is what Gai had at the Life Fashion Resturant in Huangpu, Shanghai. It was delicious she said, she would like one now!


Nov 21
Returning to France

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In September this year, Gai returned to France and the village she lived in as a child, Chantilly. This village has 11,000 inhabitants and is 50 kilometers north of Paris.

Chantilly is the home of many racing stables and is famous for its beautiful Chateau which houses an art collection second only to the Louvre.

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Whilst at Chantilly Gai stayed in the middle of the forest at the Chateau de Montvillargenne Hotel. This chateau was built by the Rothchilds in the late 19th Century and is set in 15 acres of parkland.

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Each morning the racing horses in work gallop in the forest. Here are some of the horses returning to their stable in the village.


Nov 07
Vietnam

Rex Hotel A monument to Ho Chi Minh City's history.

During the Vietnam war the American Information Service made its base at the hotel which soon became the favourite haunt of US officers and the scene of daily press briefings to foreign correspondents. 

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Roof Top Bar at the Rex Hotel

The most popular and famous bar in Ho Chi Minh.

During the Vietnam war, this bar hosted the 5 O Clock follies.

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The Breakfast room on the top floor of the Rex Hotel

A magnificent spread.

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In traffic.

The girl on the back of the bike was holding on to a huge stack of plastic chairs.

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Bitexco Finacial Tower

This is the tallest building in Ho Chi Minh with 68 floors and a heli-pad attached.

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Chaotic Traffic

This is typical traffic in Ho Chi Minh, they drive in all directions.

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Electrical Wiring

Electrical wiring is the same, it goes in all directions.

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Gai Riding in the Cyclo

This is one of the popular tourist pass times in Ho Chi Minh.

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A cruise along the river

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Sep 12
Shanghai

Gai has been off traveling again. This time the destination was Shanghai. 

First on the list was the Oriental Pearl Tower, at Pudong Park in Lujiazui, Shanghai.

This tower is a staggering 468 meters tall, with a glass floor viewing platform.

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The Oriental Pearl Tower is pink during the day but changes to many colours at night by lights.

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This is the view from the Oriental Pearl Tower. One level had a solid floor then you went down steps to the level with a glass floor.

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This is the view through the glass floor. I left my foot in the picture to prove I did it! I certainly didn't like it!

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This is new building near the Shanghai Tower. Shanghai is famous for its skyline.

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There was an amazing atmosphere at night created by lights.  All the boats that went along the river were lit up which added to the ambiance.

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Aug 08
Botswana

 Every Botswana guide wants to be buried in Savuti. They think it is the greatest place on earth. Savuti is located in a remote area of Southern Chobe National Park. It is renowned for its mystery.

This is the view from my veranda. There was a fresh water pond within close vicinity where the elephants came to drink.

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The elephants looked like they were wearing gumboots.

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This was my elephant. He came right up to the fence to see what I was doing.

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We saw lots of buffalo

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  And giraffe

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As we travelled the sandy roads.

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Then we came across a pride of 9 lions!

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The female lead the hunt.

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And two males trailed way behind.

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